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Ixalan: First Impressions

Mainloop25Mainloop25 Posts: 1,646 Chairperson of the Boards
I do this now for every new set so I thought why not do it for this one too? I'll add more to it once we see the whole card list, so I'll just do it for the ones we have already seen.

Deadeye Tracker - I think Explore is the most exciting mechanic revealed so far, and Activate 3 is pretty easy to pop. The effect is pretty good against certain decks. Looks like a niche card overall but still ok.

Treasure Cove/Treasure Map - This looks like a neat card though you do need to jump through a lot of hoops to make it start working for you. My fear is that you'll lose the support before it starts helping you. Gaining loyalty gems is also not insignificant.

Vance's Blasting Cannons/Spitfire Bastion - This could possibly a great card for red in standard, especially Koth. Both sides of this card help him a lot. Even though not terribly flashy, it looks like a good piece for an overall strategy. I like it.

Vanquisher's Banner - Seems way overcosted for what it does. +2/2 on tribes? I can only see this being good because it counts as buffing creatures, which now has an advantage in this set. Seems to me that there are cheaper less rare cards that do the same thing, more or less.

Call To The Feast - Reinforcing all of your creatures is really cool. Obviously great for Olivia, and I like that it's dual-colored. Seems a lot better in Legacy but I'll make a final judgment on it once I see all the new vamps.

Mavren Fein - I am a bit unclear on how this one will work. Does his effect stack? So will he create a 1/1 token on the first attack, and 2 1/1's on the second attack, etc.? If so, that's a pretty decent effect for the cost.

Storm Fleet Arsonist - Not bad, but I think Volcanic Rambler is better overall.

Fathom Fleet Captain - It's ok. I'll have to see what sort of extra effects we can have with Pirates before I say it's worth putting in your deck or not.

Captain Lannery Storm - One of the better creatures spoiled so far. If I understand correctly, it does 5 damage on the first turn it enters the board at base level, and it just gets better as you attack more.

Ruthless Knave - Never been a fan of Activate 1, but I think it's good in any of those decks that utilize graveyard recursion. A little expensive, but it's an uncommon so what do you expect.

Ripjaw Raptor - A bit vanilla if you ask me.

Raptor Hatchling - I actually quite like this one. It's cheap fodder for kill spells and can be buffed easily since you don't have to invest much into it to cast it.

Kinjalli's Caller - I don't see how this card is useful at all. 0/4 defender for 13 with an almost negligible upside? No thanks.

Otepec Huntmaster - This one is better than Kinjalli's Caller. I guess if the two cards stack, they can be useful. Hopefully there are other cards that have that effect but are better overall.

Herald of Secret Streams - A 4/4 for 15 with a "meh" effect = Meh overall.

Shapers of Nature - Not bad, not great. Overcosted.

Tishana, Voice of Thunder - Pretty interesting card. With the potential to come into play at 13/13, it's certainly playable. Doesn't blow me away though. It's a level above Apocalypse Demon but not by much.

Hostage Taker - Interesting card. Basically creature removal with the option to steal. My Omniscience will like this one!

Regisaur Alpha - This one is actually not bad. Assuming your tokens get haste, at least you get to do damage on the turn it hits the board. There are much better cards to take a creature slot though, I'm sure.

Shadowed Caravel - By far the most underwhelming mythic creature. A 4/4 for 19 just doesn't sound great to me, and I have a feeling it's not going to grow as quickly as you want it to. I will have to see what other options we have with Explore though.

Sorcerous Spyglass - I've been waiting for a card like this. Can think of many benefits. Will love to know how many shields it is going to have, though.

Spell Swindle - I think it's a good card, but I hope they don't make the mistake of putting an interesting mechanic behind a mythic rarity wall like they did with Kaladesh.

Wildgrowth Walker - Again, I'll have to see how often you can trigger Explore to see how effective this one is.

Bellowing Aegisaur - It's cool that it gives your creatures buffs so I can see how that might come in handy, but it still seems expensive to me.

Raider's Wake - My favorite uncommon spoiled so far. Excellent piece for an Ob discard deck. Will get use in a creatureless black deck, no doubt.

Lookout's Dispersal - An absolutely terrible card. Would take 6 pirates to enter the battlefield for it to be cost-effective, and Censor has a better effect with no extra condition needed.

Kopala, Warden of Waves - Pretty solid, not amazing but making your opponent's spells cost 5 more can possibly save you for a turn or two.

Bishop of the Bloodstained - I feel like this card can be ok but we'll have to see how easily vampires are reinforced. I think it will do 3-6 damage ETB in most cases.

Tillonali's Skinshifter - This could be a really awesome creature, and might be the creature I'm most excited to mess with once the set comes out.

Fell Flagship - Wayyyy too overcosted. Only Crew 2? Most rare vehicles have Crew 3, and even then it's too costly. I would possibly only ever use it with Saheeli's ultimate but still meh. Actually it might be ok with classic L1/Dark Petition shenanigans.

Carnage Tyrant - It's worded strangely, but the effect is very cool and unique. It's nice to have a card that can't be affected by cards like Overwhelming Splendor, Censor, etc.

Deeproot Champion - This looks like a fun card to use with Kiora loops.

Axis of Mortality - This is an odd one. I think this will likely be a combo piece for some still unforeseen strategy. Without seeing anything else, I can see putting it with Crested Sunmare and Alhammaret's Archive.

Kinjalli's Sunwing - I think it's this set's Thalia. I have been a fan of this effect for a long time so I'm glad to see it in Standard on a creature.

Star of Extinction - Destroying all gems is the part that really makes me interested in this card. I wonder if that means it destroys all supports as well. Could be a good boardwipe when using creatureless decks.

Magus of The Moon - Another potentially really good card for Koth, and has a lot of interesting uses. Since it can clear your opponent's supports as well, making for an interesting card for sure.

Aether Vial - It's ok, but at Masterpiece level there are much better options. If this support didn't get destroyed after casting a creature, it would be really good. I will have to see how many supports it starts with before I totally trash it.


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